The main aim of the project was to produce an e-commerce site which would manage multiple websites with shared product content, some shared functionality and independent administrator control. The sites were split into three channels:
Milton Sandford Wines for trade account customers (B2B),
The Wine Cellar Club for retail customers (B2C),
Golfers Wines for golfing customers (an affiliated retail site retailing limited themed products).
Specific requirements included WorldPay account details and integration with Vintner EPOS systems.
Our Grapes solution simplified the catalogue management for all the websites by enabling MSW to manage the catalogue directly from their central EPOS system, Vintner, which can automatically manage and maintain the catalogue across any number of websites.
Each website is independent and has a unique fully configurable design in terms of B2B, B2C or a hybrid of both. The content is managed from each separate administration area and there can be additional conditions applied to each site to list specific wines and use specific price lists if required.
Improving the User Experience was an essential element of the project, vital for successful e-commerce sites. Features added to the site included: order histories, similar products, tasting notes, ratings, members recipes, saved baskets(wishlist) and online chat. The order history is a particularly important feature in this sector due to the changing stock and availability of wine vintages. This feature enables users to view alternative wines currently available if previously ordered favourites are out of stock. Similar product image carousels are also important for new users and are filtered to match the producer and varietal.
My Tasting notes is a feature offered to a customer 48hrs after purchase. It gives customers the option of recording their tasting notes either for private or public record (moderated), and provides a good source of further customer interaction with the site, driving SEO. Ratings and members recipes work in a similar fashion and including a saved basket, is essential for order completion particularly in the mobile market. An online chat service was added as a great solution for providing instant customer support helping to increase sales.
A Liquid Interest (Wine Cellar Club only) loyalty points system was introduced and managed using Drupal contributed modules. Members are able to gain points based on orders and further actions on the site, e.g public tasting notes, recipes, introducing friends. Points are allocated a currency conversion rate and customers can spend them against new orders.
Behind the scenes integration with existing Vintner EPOS systems is key to the performance of the system. New products are added to Vintner, then pushed to the website where the administrator then populates the product attributes with images and written content. Product data with price and stock updates are automatically updated hourly from Vintner. Discounts, promotions and corporate gifts are set up for application at the administrator level.
Continued relationships with customers are extremely valuable and are encouraged using automatic emails and newsletters. Mobile friendly and customisable HTML email reminders are designed to be sent to customers after 24 hours if items remain in their basket and after 3 months to view the latest offer. Both encourage direct sales and drive customer loyalty.
The newsletters contain features on products, tasting notes, locations or suppliers and promotional offers, and subscribers are managed by Mailchimp signup modules. Any customer, including new users can signup for the newsletter, making it a powerful marketing tool.
The site was optimised for search engines and included configurable meta descriptions on all public landing pages. It also used a dynamic XHTML site map submitting any changes to Google and Bing once a day. The robots.txt file also references the XML site map.